To Forgive is Divine
“And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him,
so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.” (Mark 11:5)
An old proverbial adage says, “To err is human, but to forgive is divine.” There is a lot of Biblical truth contained in that saying. First, it is human to err, to choose wrong, to make a mistake, to fall short of a goal, and to sin. Second, it is divine to “forgive.”
There is a great lesson in “forgiving” someone who has harmed, mistreated, hurt, or disappointed you. God doesn’t tell us to “forgive” just for the sake of “forgiving.” He tells us to forgive for the sake of NOT hurting ourselves anymore than we have already been hurt. Let me explain. I feel that the main reason it is hard, if not nearly impossible at times, to forgive someone who has done you (us) wrong is because we feel it “devalues” our feelings and self-worth. I, too, had to learn that forgiving others doesn’t mean what they did to me or to someone I love was right or justified…Forgiving was my determination to follow the will of God for my life and to allow HIM to become the supreme “judge” in all matters. It’s a matter of Trust and Faith.
“Forgiveness” is demonstrating to God and to others that you have put your total and complete Faith and Trust in God. Then, after we have “forgiven,” the Bible tells us to be “reconciled” unto the person whom we have forgiven. Don’t kid yourself, no one can be “reconciled” when they have not yet forgiven. And, when a person cannot be “reconciled” because they have not forgiven, they are “regarding iniquities” within their own heart…Thus, the real “heart of the matter” is revealed to God and to others…(God sees the heart!)
An unforgiving, un-reconciled person is harboring sin within their heart and life. In God’s eyes, the “unforgiving,” “un-reconciled” person can possess a more bitter sin than the person who first offended. All “un-forgiveness” and the refusal to be reconciled leads to a strong root of bitterness that will eventually destroy a person’s life.
No matter of good deeds, hard work, prayer, or attempts to “hide” un-forgiveness will prevent bitterness from taking root within an “unforgiving,” “un-reconciled” person’s life…It is a Spiritual Law. Bitterness can lead to all matters of sickness and stress within a person’s life. You can hear bitterness in a person’s tone and see it on their face…They may think they are hiding it, but bitterness creeps up on a person’s life much like wrinkles! One day they are not there and the next day they are!
The “unforgiving” person will eventually defeat their own cause. The unwillingness to forgive and to be reconciled in God’s love unto the one who offended will be the Achilles heel in which their life will eventually fall apart. I have seen it happen too many times. Oh, I never want a root of bitterness silently growing within and choking out every good deed I have ever done in the Name of the Lord. I pray to always possess a Spirit of forgiveness, reconciliation, and obedience unto my Lord and Maker.
There are no exceptions in God’s Spiritual Law of Forgiveness and Reconciliation. God sent his only begotten Son for the “forgiveness of our sins” and to be “reconciled” back to God. If this is the very basis of Salvation, then why would God allow his own Son, Jesus Christ, to be so badly beaten and wounded for the “forgiveness” of our sins but allow us to prosper in our own “un-forgiveness” of others?? It just won’t happen.
Through the obedience of God’s Word, many people have forgiven horrible, terrible, and harsh acts of violence at the hands of others. There are women out there who have forgiven sin-sick fathers who physically molested them as young daughters. Adult men and women who have forgiven fathers or mothers who beat them, verbally abused them, and did not provide for their needs. Wives who have forgiven husbands who cheated on them, beat them, verbally, mentally, and emotionally abused them. Sisters who have forgiven older brothers or sisters who tormented and abused them. Brothers who have forgiven older brothers or sisters who beat or molested them. Sons and daughters who have forgiven mothers and fathers who abandoned them, left them, gave them up. Nieces forgiving aunts. Nephews forgiving uncles. Cousins forgiving cousins. Parents who have forgiven sons and daughters for abuse, disrespect, disobedience, shameful and disgraceful behaviors. Even those who have forgiven those who murdered, killed, or raped a loved one. The practice of “forgiveness” covers a multitude of sins…
God doesn’t just tell us to “forgive” the things that don’t matter to us…He tells us to “forgive” others regarding the things in this life that do matter the most to us…
My parents were non-church goers when I was younger and growing up. They did not get involved in church until after I was married. It took me a long time to get over that fact and to forgive them for not caring about my soul or teaching me about God’s ways. But, they were blinded in their ways, and I had to learn that… But, with God’s help and my wanting to be obedient to God’s word..I learned to forgive them and be reconciled unto both of my parents.
I also learned that not being exposed to “church-life” as a child had its advantages in some ways. When I became a pastor’s wife, I could relate to the stories of many newly converted Christians. I understood their background and their need for the Lord. My husband, having grown up in a church-going family, could not always understand the harshness that many people endured before coming to Christ. God always has a purpose and a plan for our lives. But, we must first surrender to His will in ALL things.
Sadly, if I had refused to forgive my parents for “disappointing” me or “letting me down” in some way by not taking me to church, I would have never fully known the wonderous Grace of God…And, I would have been harboring an even greater sin within my own heart…”Unforgiveness” is a sin in God’s eyes…And, one that can bring about great harm and hurt into our own lives.
My friend, there may be someone out there today that disappointed you, hurt your feelings, didn’t behave the way that you felt they should have behaved, or even brought about great harm into your life…I ask you to Give it to Jesus. Ask God to forgive “them” of their wrongdoings to you. Ask God to forgive you for not forgiving them. Ask God to not allow a root of bitterness to spring forth in your own life. Ask God to work things out the way He sees fit; not the way you think it should go.
Be reconciled to the best of you ability to the one(s) that hurt you. Then, leave the results in God’s hands. If, after you have forgiven the one(s) who hurt you, and asked God to forgive them as well, and you have made every attempt to be reconciled back to that person and they “refuse” to be reconciled….then, walk away…You have done all you can do…You are freed from the root of bitterness in your own life and you are now walking according to God’s command. By forgiving and showing effort to be reconciled, you have made peace with yourself and with God…The rest is in His hand. And, I pray that you will see God’s Fruit of the Spirit upon your own life…Amen.
May you find peace today in forgiveness and being reconciled first unto God and then unto those who have hurt you. May you feel the JOY of God’s own forgiveness sweeping over your soul as you sing from the heart, “It is well with my soul.” After all, it is your soul and only your soul that determines your relationship with God…Not someone else’s actions, but your own…Today, is your soul really and truly well with God?
Remember, God Loves You,
Lin T Rollins, Author
@copyright by Lin T Rollins, Nov. 2012